These Japanese soufflé pancakes are super fluffy, jiggly, and pillowy soft! They are a delight to have for breakfast, snack, or dessert and will wow any lucky guests you invite for brunch! These pancakes are simple to make, but technique driven. Follow along our post below, with step by step photos, detailed instructions, and a troubleshooting guide to help you master making these ultra jiggly pancakes!
I've always looked forward to having pancakes for breakfast because my family grew up eating rice dishes like century egg and pork congee or plain congee with tomato and egg stir fry in the morning.
So when we learned about these fluffy Japanese soufflé pancakes, you know I could not resist! They were everything pancakes were meant to be, and a little more. They were fluffy, really jiggly, soft like cotton. It was like eating mini cakes! Especially when you topped them with whipped cream and and fruits. SO GOOD!
What are Japanese soufflé pancakes?
Japanese soufflé pancakes are like classic pancakes but fluffy, airy, light like cotton, and pillowy soft! They're made with basic ingredients you would use for making regular pancakes, but the secret to their iconic fluffy, jiggly signature is the eggs!
The soufflé pancakes heavily reply on the soufflé technique, where the egg whites are whipped to stiff peak and gently incorporated into the rest of the batter, like you would in a chiffon cake or our flourless chocolate soufflé.
The whipped egg whites incorporate air into the batter, which lighten up the batter. This makes the soufflé pancakes rise and gives them their fluffy, cotton-like texture.
Ingredients you will need
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the ingredient quantities!
- Eggs - The main ingredient give our Japanese soufflé pancakes their fluffiness. The eggs will be separated into whites (for the meringue) and yolks (for the rest of the batter).
- Milk - We recommend whole milk for best flavor.
- All-purpose flour - To give our pancakes a little bit of chew for a balanced texture.
- Baking powder - Just a small amount to help the pancakes rise a little higher.
- Vanilla extract - A recommended flavoring extract, but who doesn't like vanilla pancakes?!
- Sugar - To sweeten the pancakes, but also make the egg white meringue stronger and to keep it stable a little longer. Make sure to use regular granulated sugar or caster sugar so that the sugar dissolved properly.
- Vinegar - A small amount of acid helps to stabilize the egg whites when making meringue. You could also substitute white vinegar with equal amounts of fresh lemon juice or a small amount of cream of tartar.
How to make these jiggly Japanese soufflé pancakes
Make the soufflé pancake batter:
1. Separate the egg whites and egg yolks into separate mixing bowl. Make sure to not break the yolk!
2. Into the egg yolks, add the milk and vanilla and whisk briefly until combined. Then, sift in the flour and baking powder. Whisk until no more dry flour is visible and everything is well combined. Set aside until needed.
3. Into the egg whites, add the vinegar or lemon juice. With a hand mixer, beat on medium speed until completely frothy. Then, add the sugar a little at a time while mixing.
4. Once all the sugar has been added, increase the speed to medium high and beat the egg white until it reaches stiff peak.
5. Add ⅓ of the stiff peak meringue into the egg yolk batter. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the meringue into the batter until evenly combined and no more streaks are visible.
📝 Note: For the initial incorporation of meringue, it is okay to mix a little longer, a little more thorough, and a little rougher. However, be very gentle when incorporating the next addition of meringue! It will determine how thick the pancake batter will be and if your pancakes will be fluffy.
6. Add the remaining meringue to the batter and gently fold until combined and no more streaks are visible. DO NOT over mix or the batter will become too loose and the pancakes will not be tall and will deflate substantially.
7. Either prepare a large spoon, a large cookie scoop, or transfer the pancake batter into a pipping bag fitted with a large round tip (we used a Wilton 2A tip).
Cook the pancakes:
1. Heat a large nonstick pan over low heat and lightly grease the pan with oil.
🌟 Pro tip: Pick a good nonstick that has tall walls with a lid or a pan like a nonstick crepe pan with a heatproof bowl that can cover it completely. If the pan isn't tall enough, the pancakes will rise and touch the lid when they cook. Also, use a paper towel to wipe and evenly spread the oil to prevent the pancake from getting oil blotches.
2. Portion the batter into the pan to make two to 3 pancakes by either scooping the batter with the spoon or cookie scoop or pipping the batter into a mound with the pipping bag. Read more below under the "best tool to use for shaping soufflé pancakes" topic.
3. Cover the pan with a lid or heatproof bowl and let the pancakes cook for about 7 to 8 minutes, until the bottom side is golden brown. Gently flip the pancakes and recover the lid. Let the pancakes cook for another 5 to 6 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
🚨 Caution: If using a bowl, make sure it is heatproof and make sure to use kitchen mitts to uncover! The bowl will be super hot!
4. Serve the pancakes immediately with sweetened whipped cream, assorted fruits, powdered sugar, and/or maple syrup.
- Don't over mix the meringue. Over mixing the meringue will deflate the batter and give you flat, deflated pancakes.
- Measure the flour properly. The ratio of liquid to flour is important so that the right batter consistency can be achieved. So when measuring flour, use a scale for the best accuracy, or fluff up the flour, spoon it into the dry measuring cup, and level the flour with a flat edge. Don't tap or shake the flour.
- Cook in a good nonstick pan on low heat. You want a nonstick pan so the pancakes don't stick and cook on low so the pancakes don't get too dark. The ideal temperature to cook on is between 285°F and 320°F (140°C to 160°C).
- Be gentle when flipping the pancakes. The pancakes are quite fragile and can tear easily. It will not completely deflate the pancakes if there is a tear, but it will shrink them a little.
Best tool for shaping soufflé pancakes
We tested quite a few different tools for transferring the pancake batter because it can affect how well the soufflé pancakes will turn out. Here are our top 3 recommendations:
- Large spoon - A spoon is one of our top choices because it's a utensil we all have at home. It gets the job done, however, the shape of the pancakes are not the best or most uniformed.
- Large cookie scoop - Our second recommendation is a large cookie scoop, preferably one at least size #10 or large. These scoops will give the most uniformed shape pancakes, however, the height will be slightly limited.
- Piping bag - The last and our favorite choice is a pipping bag. Even better with a large round tip (we used a Wilton 2A tip). This gives you the freedom to pipe the batter as tall as you want, of course the taller, the more practice you'll need to succeed. The only give to using a pipping bag is that the pancake may not be as uniform as using a scoop. But again, practice makes perfect!
Japanese soufflé pancakes are simple to make, but a very technical. So here are a collection of the most common issues that you may experience and how to fix them:
Deflated soufflé pancakes
Over-mixed batter: This will deflate the meringue that you worked hard to whip up. Be gentle when folding the meringue into the batter and fold until the batter is just evenly combined and no more streaks are visible.
Under-whipped or over-whipped meringue: Not whipping the egg white meringue to the right stage will yield the wrong pancake batter consistency. Make sure to whip the meringue to stiff peak. Here are a few ways to check if the meringue is at stiff peak:
- When the whisk is lifted up, can the meringue hold a peak straight up? Stiff peak meringue will feel stiff and stand straight up without curling or hooking at the tip.
- If you flip the bowl upside down, does the meringue stay in place? Stiff peak meringue will stay in place.
- When whipping the meringue, do the ripples that form stay on top? You'll be able to see the ripples on stiff peak meringue.
Undercooked pancakes: If the pancakes are not fully cooked through, the pancakes will collapse when removed from the pan or when touched. Make sure to cook the pancakes low and slow with a lid.
Soufflé pancakes are raw on the inside or too dark on the outside
Japanese soufflé pancakes should be cooked through and should not have a raw center. If the pancakes are both raw on the inside and pale in color, your heat is most likely too low or the pancakes need to be cooked longer. If your pancakes are dark or burnt on the outside but raw on the inside, your heat is too high.
The ideal temperature for cooking the soufflé pancakes is between 285°F and 320°F (140°C to 160°C), and this is usually the lowest heat setting on the stovetop. However, stovetops are not always consistent. So we recommend getting an infrared thermometer to monitor the pan temperature if you have the budget.
Lastly, every stovetop is different, so you may have to experiment with yours. If your stovetop has choices for small or large burners, choose the appropriate one that will heat up your entire pan. Also, we recommend an electric stovetop over a gas stove top for these pancakes. Gas stovetops will not heat the pan evenly enough.
Soufflé pancakes taste eggy
Because soufflé pancakes are mostly made of eggs, they will taste slightly eggy, however, they should not taste super eggy.
To reduce the eggy flavor, make sure to cook the pancakes through. The beautiful golden brown colors on the outside is not just for aesthetics! It's caramelization. That will give the pancakes a richer, deeper flavor.
Lastly, we recommend using vanilla extra and/or add a little bit of lemon zest to the egg yolk batter. This will also brighten up the pancake's flavor.
Meringue doesn't whip up
To prevent egg whites from deflating and not stiffening up, make sure the bowl and your whisk is clean and free of grease and oil. Fat tends to hinder the egg whites from whipping up to full potential.
Aside from making sure your equipments are clean, adding some acid like vinegar, lemon juice, or cream of tartar can help stabilize your egg whites so that they can achieve stiff peak and not deflate.
Unlike regular pancakes that uses only leaveners to make them fluffy, soufflé pancakes use the soufflé method, which gently incorporates stiff peak meringue into the batter, to give the pancakes their extra fluffy, jiggly texture.
If made properly, soufflé pancakes should not taste super eggy. There may be a subtle hint of eggy-ness because the pancakes are made of mostly eggs but not in an unpleasant way.
No, soufflé pancakes should not be raw inside. They should be cooked through.
Although you could make Japanese soufflé pancakes with cake flour, we find the texture of the pancakes made with all-purpose flour much more pleasing. All-purpose flour gives the pancakes some chew, which helps balance out the super soft and fluffy texture. If you make the pancakes with cake flour, please adjust the amount needed accordingly.
The baking powder is to help the pancakes rise more. So technically, yes, you could omit the baking powder if you prefer. However, we do highly recommend keeping it.
If you prefer, you could use fresh lemon juice in equal amounts in place of white vinegar. You could also use a small amount of cream of tartar instead.
If you’ve made this recipe or any recipes from our blog, please tag us on Instagram using #twoplaidaprons! You can also tag us in your Instagram stories using @two_plaid_aprons. We would love to see your creations! It absolutely makes our day! 🥰
Fluffy Japanese Soufflé Pancakes
For the pancake batter:
Sweetened whipped cream (optional):
- ½ cup heavy cream cold
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar more or less to your preference
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
Make the soufflé pancake batter:
- Separate the egg whites and egg yolks into separate mixing bowl. Make sure to not break the yolk!
- Into the egg yolks, add the milk, vanilla, and lemon zest and whisk briefly until combined. Then, sift in the flour and baking powder. Whisk until smooth and no more dry flour is visible. Set aside until needed.
- Into the egg whites, add the vinegar or lemon juice. With a hand mixer, beat on medium speed until completely frothy. Then, gradually add the sugar a little at a time.
- Once all the sugar has been added, increase the speed to medium high and beat the egg white until it reaches stiff peak.
- Add ⅓ of the stiff peak meringue into the egg yolk batter. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the meringue into the batter until evenly combined and no more streaks are visible.
- Add the remaining meringue to the batter and gently fold until combined and no more streaks are visible. DO NOT over mix or the batter or the meringue will deflate and the batter will become too loose.
- Either prepare a large spoon, a large cookie scoop, or transfer the pancake batter into a pipping bag fitted with a large round tip.
Cook the pancakes:
- Heat a large nonstick pan over low heat and lightly grease the pan with oil. Make sure to wipe away excess oil. *Electric stovetop works the best.*
- Portion the batter into the pan to make 2 to 3 pancakes by either scooping the batter with the spoon or cookie scoop or pipping the batter into a mound with the pipping bag.*Try your best to keep the batter tall, whether if you're using a spoon, scoop, or pipping it. This will help your pancakes look tall.*
- Cover the pan with a lid and let the pancakes cook for about 7 to 8 minutes, until the bottom side is golden brown. Gently flip the pancakes and recover the lid. Let the pancakes cook for another 5 to 6 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
- Serve the pancakes immediately with sweetened whipped cream, assorted fruits, powdered sugar, and/or maple syrup.
Optional sweetened whipped cream:
- In a mixing bowl, combine the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk by hand or use a hand mixer and mix the cream until firm peak or your desired thickness. Keep refrigerated until needed.*If using hand mixer, make sure to start on low or medium low speed to prevent splashing.*
- If using a pipping bag, we recommend pairing it with a large round tip. We used a Wilton 2A.
- Note: These Japanese soufflé pancakes will slowly start to deflate once removed from the pan. However, it shouldn't deflate completely and should stay fluffy even after deflating a little.